Tait tops class with shearling ram

First prize shearling ram, male champion and supreme champion from S and W Tait, Kevin McAnenly, Bimeda, and judge James Young
First prize shearling ram, male champion and supreme champion from S and W Tait, Kevin McAnenly, Bimeda, and judge James Young

It was a shearling ram belonging to the Burnview flock of Stephanie and William Tait that clinched top honours at the recent Northern Ireland Suffolk Championships held at Armagh Show.

This shearling ram which was purchased as a ram lamb at the 2015 Stirling sale from Denis Taylor of the Ballynacannon flock for £18,000 has already turned a few heads by claiming first in its class at Balmoral and reserve champion at Ballymena Show.

First prize aged ewe, female champion and reserve champion from Patrick Donnelly, Kevin McAnenly, Bimeda, and judge James Young

First prize aged ewe, female champion and reserve champion from Patrick Donnelly, Kevin McAnenly, Bimeda, and judge James Young

William and Stephanie Tait had a memorable day in not only did their shearling ram top the class, they also took the first place rosettes in both the aged ram class, 
edging out Mark Herron and in the ram lamb class followed closely behind by Denis 
Taylor and a second ram lamb belonging to the Burnview flock.

However, the Tait’s certainly didn’t get it all their own way in the Suffolk fold at Armagh and had to fend off stiff competition on a number of fronts, in particular from Donrho flock owner Patrick Donnelly who claimed the reserve champion prize with his eye catching aged ewe.

Gary Beacom and Jason Watson followed closely behind the reserve champion in the aged ewe class.

Onlookers caught their first glimpse of the shearling ram of S andW Tait as the Burnview flock got the nod ahead of Patrick Donnelly and Jason Watson.

Under 26 stock judging prizewinners Eoin Butler and Ben Robinson, Kenny McConkey, Thompsons and James Young

Under 26 stock judging prizewinners Eoin Butler and Ben Robinson, Kenny McConkey, Thompsons and James Young

Competition in the Northern Ireland Championships was as intense as ever with judge James young handing the first place rosette to Stephen Sufferin in the shearling ewe class ahead of Denis Taylor and Stephanie and William Tait.

Calum Patterson of the Kinbally flock, a young and upcoming new breeder, took the first place rosette in the ewe lamb class ahead of runners up Stephen Sufferin and Patrick Donnelly.

Jason and Campbell Watson clinched the pair of lambs award with Stephanie and William Tait second and Patrick Donnelly third.

Stephanie and William Tait also took the group awards edging out Patrick Donnelly and Jason Watson.

But in the final deliberations Patrick Donnelly had to on this occasion settle for second best as the Co Tyrone breeders Stephanie and William Tait scooped the top prize on offer.

Meanwhile in the stock judging competition which followed it was William Montgomery and Frank McConville who won the over 26 section with Eoin Butler winning the under 26 section, while brother and sister Eoin and Eimear Butler claimed the young handler classes.

Northern Ireland Branch Championships 11th June – Gosford Park, Armagh

Ewe any age: 1st P Donnelly, 2nd G C Beacom, 3rd RC and JC Watson

Ram any age: 1st S and W Tait, 2nd M Herron

Shearling ewe: 1st S Sufferin, 2nd D Taylor, 3rd S and W Tait

Shearling ram: 1st S and W Tait, 2nd P Donnelly, 3rd RC and JC Watson

Ewe lamb: 1st C Patterson, 2nd S Sufferin, 3rd P Donnelly

Ram lamb: 1st S and W Tait, 2nd D Taylor, 3rd S and W Tait

Group of three: 1st S and W Tait, 2nd P Donnelly, 3rd RC and JC Watson

Pairs: 1st RC and JC Watson, 2nd S and W Tait, 3rd P Donnelly

Male champion: William Tait

Reserve male champion: William Tait

Female champion: Patrick Donnelly

Reserve female: Stephen Sufferin

Supreme champion: William Tait

Reserve: Patrick Donnelly

Championships stock judging

26 and under: 1st Eoin Butler, 2nd Ben Robinson, 3rd Rachel Armour

26 and over: 1st William Montgomery and Frank McConville, 2nd Patrick McVerry, Jason Watson, Patrick Donnelly and Bernie McConville

Young handlers

9 years and under: 1st Eimear Butler, 2nd Ben Robinson, 3rd Ryan Grant

Special awards: James McMahon and Jack Moses

10 to 14: 1st Eoin Butler, 2nd Alex Armour